Self-Regulatory Strength and Consumers’ Relinquishment of Decision Control: When Less Effortful Decisions are More Resource Depleting

48 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2010 Last revised: 25 Jul 2013

See all articles by Murat Usta

Murat Usta

University of Alberta

Gerald Häubl

University of Alberta - Department of Marketing, Business Economics & Law

Date Written: July 1, 2010

Abstract

Based on the self-regulatory strength model and prior research on self-esteem threats, we predict and show that delegating decisions to surrogates – such as financial advisors or physicians – depletes consumers’ limited self-regulatory resources more than making the same decisions independently, thus impairing their subsequent ability to exercise self-control. This is the case even though decision delegation actually requires less decision making effort than independent decision making (Study 1). However, the resource depleting effect of decision delegation vanishes when consumers have an opportunity to affirm their belief in free will (Study 2) Moreover, remembering a past decision that one delegated impairs self-control more than remembering a decision that one made independently (Studies 3 and 4). The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

Keywords: consumer decision making, decision assistance, surrogates, self-regulation, relinquishment of control, self-esteem, ego threat, self-affirmation, free will

Suggested Citation

Usta, Murat and Häubl, Gerald, Self-Regulatory Strength and Consumers’ Relinquishment of Decision Control: When Less Effortful Decisions are More Resource Depleting (July 1, 2010). Journal of Marketing Research, Volume 48, Number 2, April 2011, Netspar Discussion Paper No. 07/2010-067, University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2013-746, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1716790 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1716790

Murat Usta

University of Alberta ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R3
Canada

Gerald Häubl (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Marketing, Business Economics & Law ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
52
Abstract Views
858
rank
418,871
PlumX Metrics